Alias revisits a key archive project by Pio Manzù, the brilliant protagonist of Italian automobile design during the sixties. The idea materialised at the GAMeC of Bergamo where the archives of Pio Manzù’s work are stored. It is here that Renato Staffaucher and the designer’s son, Giacomo Manzoni, met in 2010. Together they studied sketches, projects and materials until their attention was drawn to a prototype chair designed for the Rinascente department store, clearly taking its inspiration from the automobile industry. Unfortunately, the chair base was missing and only one photograph had survived to tell its story. So began an exciting journey of research and reconstruction. Three-dimensional systems were used to redesign the five-star base originally created in Pio Manzù’s day by a collaborating Japanese artist. At the same time, the leather prototype, which had been damaged over the course of time, was carefully restored. The re-edition began to take form and finally reach its completion. The decision was made to integrate a footrest on a four-star base, designed to be wholly coherent with the design and proportions of the chair. This journey of culture and design has given Alias the opportunity to discover a deep-rooted affinity with the historical figure of Pio Manzù. One of the first designers to have conceived the man-machine relationship beyond mere function, considering aspects of safety and well-being, Manzù’s uncompromising approach to design and his familiarity with technology made him a genuine pioneer in the sphere of ergonomics.
Similarly to an ottoman, the chair is made up of a supporting structure in dense polyurethane co-formed with polyurethane foam. The base is cast aluminium, polished and enamelled in various colours. Both pieces are presented in an elegant leather upholstery with a choice of several shades.